A traffic stop by Natural Resources Police on Tuesday Aug. 15, led to the take-down of an alleged methamphetamine “kingpin” less than 24 hours later, according press releases from both West Virginia Natural Resources Police (WVNRP) and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD).
Offices from the WVNRP initiated a traffic stop while patrolling near Stonecoal Lake, after noticing the vehicle’s occupants, one of whom was a minor, were not wearing seat belts.
Probable cause was found for a search, which turned up 19.5 grams of Methamphetimine, 20.5 grams of Marijuana, as well as “dozens of prescription pills of various types.”
The search also turned up packaging materials and a scale. The driver, whose name was unavailable at press time, was placed in custody.
Upon speaking with the suspect, the officers where able to obtain the name of the individual from whom he allegedly obtained the drugs.
The WVNRP then teamed up with the LCSD and the Buckhannon Police Department to conduct a buy-and-bust operation at the Hampton Inn, in Buckhannon, in the early morning hours of Aug. 16.
Steven John Kacenski allegedly delivered two ounces of methamphetimine to a confidential operative in exchange for $3,200 dollars.
Kacenski was arrested and charged with delivery of the controlled substance, and he is being held at the Central Regional Jail. He was also wanted in Ohio on “dangerous drug and child neglect” charges.
Bryan Joseph Wanless, who was a passenger in the Kacenski’s vehicle at the time of the arrest, was allegedly found to be in possession of Alprazolam and Methamphetimine. Wanless was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of the controlled substance.
“The arrest of Mr. Kacenski was huge for our region as it relates to meth distribution,” Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy stated in a press release.
“All indications suggest that Kacenski is one of the proverbial ‘kingpins’ of meth. Today’s arrest exemplifies how proactive patrol, coupled with some analytical initiative can lead to substantial arrests.”
Buckhannon Chief of
Police Matthew Gregory also highlighted the importance of cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
“The Buckhannon Police Department has long enjoyed a good working relationship with many other law enforcement agencies such as the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Natural Resource Police,” he said.
“Last night’s collaboration was yet another example of the positive results that can be realized when we pool our resources and work together. By doing so, we have impacted a major drug operation that affected our entire area.”
“It is great to have Natural Resource Police Officers working cooperatively with other agencies focused on a unified goal of cleaning up our communities.”
Sgt. Mike Spangler of the West Virginia Natural Resource Police added in the same press release.